"I Got a Right to Sing the [Covid] Blues", but Let's Talk About Interesting Items in Our Collections

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by Ethan Lipsig, Mar 17, 2020.

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  1. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    #1 Ethan Lipsig, Mar 17, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2020
    We've got to fight isolation and depression in these very uncertain times. So let's post accounts of interesting watches, clocks, or other artifacts in our collections, such as items once owned by famous people, surprising finds, or unusual items. I will start this thread off with this:

    IMG_4821.JPG IMG_0987_edited.JPG IMG_0940_edited.JPG IMG_4370.jpg IMG_0941_edited.JPG IMG_4368.jpg IMG_4368-copy_edited.jpg

    It is a circa 1924 14k Elgin C.H. Hulburd pocket watch that is interesting for three reasons.

    One is that Hulburds are scarce (no more than about 800 were made). They were Elgin's prestige "presentation" model, head-on competitor to the Keystone-Howard Edward Howard model, the Waltham Premier Maximus, and their ilk.

    Another is that this watch has an unusual etched case, weird crown, strange bow, interesting dial, and odd hands.

    This watch also was originally owned by a well-know writer, Fred C, Kelly. I acquired it from his grand-daughter in 2010. She told me:

    This watch belonged to my grandfather Fred C Kelly. He was a writer who was the first nationally syndicated columnist. He wrote many books on such subjects as the stock market, raising dogs and fellow Ohio humorists. He was most recognized for editing the autobiography of the Wright Brothers, Miracle at Kitty Hawk, which I believe is still being published. He was great friends with Orville Wright and is credited for bringing the Wright Brothers plane to the Smithsonian. My father just passed away at age 98 and he claimed to be the last living person to shake hands with Orville Wright.
    Fred C. Kelly also wrote How to Lose Your Money Prudently, something many of us have been doing in great gobs lately.

    For more about Kelly, see Fred C. Kelly - Wikipedia.

     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I am currently off work, as is my partner, because we are both classified as high risk by the Government though they have left it up to employers to decide what to do about that.

    Meanwhile here is my unusual. It has been on the board before but is of interest to both clock and watch collectors.

    This copper plate was used to print equation of time watch papers for the customers of Mr Hext, in St Austell Cornwall. (St Austle in the block)

    Customers would need to set their watches by a sundial and this would enable them to make the correction.

    The item is the one with the reverse script. David Penney kindly made the mirror image for me. Although I haven't got there yet I will eventually get some papers printed from this.

    Loomes has a single date for Hext of 1743. That may come from a hallmark or a trade directory. David Penney believes this is nearer 1760.

    william hext2.JPG william hext.JPG
     
  3. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    How does one use the table, Novicetimekeeper? For example, when my sun dial shows it is noon today, what does the table say I should do, and what does the equation of time yield?
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

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    #4 novicetimekeeper, Mar 17, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
    Here is an explanation of the corrections actually required from your sundial,

    Sundial Time Correction - Equation of Time

    That says today the sundial is 8 minutes slow

    This has notes on how to use the tables of the day

    The Equation of Time - Equation Clocks 1 : Forerunners


    I think the numbers in the inner ring are the dates, and the minutes to reset are on the outer ring The words in the outermost ring say which way to set. It tells you the sundial relative to corrected time so as it says for March slow you need to add 8 minutes

    (corrected my error)
     
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  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Interestingly it seems to be wrong. We adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, which was 11 days ahead. Is this error a clue to the date of the plate? 8 mins difference appears to be on March 6th or so.
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I have emailed David Penney, but perhaps somebody with a better understanding of the Physics than I have can explain the anomaly.
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I have a small collection of watch hutches. Have a pictures some of them.

    This one is American based upon the use of white pine for the carcass. Meticulously crafted with fine dovetails. 19th century. Almost looks like a NH or ME mirror clock.

    watch hutch 2.JPG

    This one is so well crafted in rosewood, also American and probably mid-19th century:

    watch hutch z.JPG

    To me, it resembles a model of a Seth Thomas shelf clock that was made either as a double dial calendar and as a shelf clock with a decorated tablet in the lower door.

    Here's one decorated with decoupage. Based upon the images, I believe it to be English:

    watch hutch c1.JPG watch hutch b3.JPG watch hutch b1.JPG watch hutch a1.JPG

    There is a cut-out of a small calendar with the date of January, 1904. Note the use of a "golliwog", a children's book character created by Florence Kate Upton in the late 19th century. This character was especially popular in the UK and Australia. Now considered derogatory and even racist. One really curious image is on the front. Note the pig was given a crown! H'mm...

    Here's a few more:

    watch 1.JPG

    The first is decorated and MOP inlaid papier mache, the second folk marquetry, the last a rather nice bench made inlaid tall case clock.

    By the way, I was very pleased that this month's Bulletin had articles about 2 one-off clocks. I have a particularly affinity for those and have posted a few examples previously. One article was about a great tramp art example now in the Canadian Clock Museum. Long ago I a posted a tramp art shelf clock which was not nearly as great as that one. The other one reported is in the form of an art deco building in Kansas City. Another clock I would just love to own. I would consider both of them in the realm of folk art.

    RM
     
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  8. Jerry Treiman

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    I have researched many of the presentations on my watches and found various company officers, professionals, dilettantes, valued employees and lodge members, but two of them are particularly meaningful to me personally.

    I just recently acquired this one, as an orphaned movement, and found a reasonable silver case for it. The fine Moorhouse dial was made in 1875 for Charles Henry Hitchcock, who served as assistant state geologist of Vermont (1857-61), state geologist of Maine (1861-62), state geologist of New Hampshire (1868-78) and was a professor of geology at Dartmouth until 1908. He was also a founder of the Geological Society of America (1888), an organization of which I have been member for almost 50 years.
    778909_f.jpg IMG_2717.jpg
    (Oh ... I almost forgot -- the movement is a stem-wind, lever-set 1857-model Waltham “Appleton, Tracy & Co.”)
    778909_m.jpg

    As a geologist and lifelong student of the earth and it’s mysteries I also value this next watch. It was a gift to Shailer Mathews from his parents when he went off to study in Germany in 1890. Mathews went on to be the Dean of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago (1908-33). In 1925 Clarence Darrow brought him to Tennessee to testify at the famous Scopes "Monkey Trial". Mathews testified as to his belief that science and evolution were not at odds with Christianity, stating "We have to live in the universe science gives us." The watch, containing a 14-size “Amn.Watch Co.” grade Waltham, was very well worn and cared for, and I like to think that he was wearing this watch during his testimony for the defense.
    Mathews.jpg ShailerMathews_inscrip.jpg
    In these times when many are denying scientific fact, based on religious grounds, it is heartening to see that some great religious thinkers did not have this difficulty. As a geologist and a scientist I am proud to wear this watch.
     
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  9. Rick Hufnagel

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    This is interesting for a few reasons. First off... I think you all know by now I'm not into solid gold (at this point in my life) so this is the only solid gold watch. We don't even keep it around here.

    A little about the story, from what I'm told. W. Bey is the missus's great great uncle. He was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1913. Apparently at the time it was customary to be gifted a gold chalice when ordained, but he already had one which was an heirloom, so his family bought him a gold watch instead. Check out this magnificent case. Keystone Watch Case Co. 14 K and high relief. Just wonderful.
    IMG_20190428_120016697.jpg
    Initials on the shield
    IMG_20190428_120111910.jpg

    The cap is engraved for Father Bey. 12/21/13. Date he was ordained. IMG_20190428_120245698.jpg


    The dial has been hand painted with the sacred heart of Jesus.

    IMG_20190428_120134031.jpg

    Here are the case trademarks

    IMG_20190428_120207122.jpg IMG_20190428_120346272.jpg

    When they handed me this, I couldn't wait to see what treasure was under the hood. It just had to be a spectacular movement..... Right:???:?

    IMG_20190428_120400779.jpg

    No! It's the base of base model 16s Elgin movements! I do have to say though... There are very few miles on it, and it keeps perfect time. I have no idea what caused that mark on the rim by the bottom of the pendant. It's a bit strange.


    So it's a very lovely, interesting watch with a nice history passed down through their family.

    Thanks for checking it out! I'm out of work currently also... For at least a couple weeks... So going a little stir crazy. This is only the second day.....

    I haven't used a sick day in years... Only take a day or two a year off with the exception of our week long camping trips in August. Not used to this. Thankfully I have a backlog to handle for research projects and no shortage of watches to work on!!
     
  10. MartyR

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    This is a story about a watch which a dealer friend of mine asked me to research. It was owned by a war hero, Colonel Philip Eyre, when he was killed in action in Sudan in 1885 whilst leading one half of the contingent sent (too late) to relieve the famous Siege of Khartoum where General Gordon was killed.

    Eyre must have been wearing the watch in his uniform when he was killed by rifle fire. He would have fallen to the rocky ground, which would account for the dents in the watch case and the broken hairspring. My guess is that Eyre's batman (a soldier who acted as his personal servant) would have removed the watch from Eyre's uniform before his burial in Sudan (depicted in Butler's book attached to this post) and the batman probably presented the watch to Eyre's widow when he returned to England. Perhaps Mrs Eyre then presented it to the batman in recognition of his service. Some 130 years later, the watch found its way to a London dealer.

    I have never experienced the frisson, the feeling of history in my grasp, that I felt when I held this watch in my hands. It was amazing.

    My research located Philip Eyre's sole surviving descendant, and I offered to sell the watch to him for £250 (the price paid by the dealer for the watch), but surprisingly he declined. I then offered it to the Museum of the Staffordshire Regiment (which Philip Eyre had commanded) for £400 but they declined on the basis that the watch would cost too much to repair!!!!! Finally it went under the hammer at an auction of militaria where it achieved a hammer price of £1,200. That is an interesting footnote which demonstrates the role that collectors play in the preservation of history.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Wow, Great provenance, Marty.
     
  12. novicetimekeeper

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    My thanks to Ethan. Without this thread I would never have noticed my printing block was 11 days out and thereby improved the dating by a decade or more. It was originally dated on the style of watch paper, it must be an early watchpaper of its type.
     
  13. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    #13 Ethan Lipsig, Mar 18, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
    Another interesting watch in my collection is an ultra-thin diamond-rimmed platinum Cartier.

    z cartuer plat dial.jpg z cartier plan back.jpg IMG_1328.JPG IMG_1329.JPG


    Its original owner as a self-made immigrant, Abraham E. Lefcourt, who was the premier developer of New York City skyscrapers in the 1920s. See Abraham E. Lefcourt - Wikipedia

    Lefcourt.jpg

    I bought the watch from Lefcourt's grandson in 2004. He told me that his grandfather had been ruined by the Great Depression. The watch was one of the few things that remained in the family. It seemed appropriate to post this watch now, as the stock market again is again cratering.

    This Cartier is only about 3mm thick, cased. The photo below shows that it is thinner that a stack of two quarters. The watch on the right is an Audemars Piguet that is almost as thin.

    IMG_7934_edited - Copy.JPG

    My watchmaker reported that “Getting the Cartier running was a nightmare because the watch is so delicate. I don’t want to go near this one again. The plates are as thin as paper. I could crush the movement between my fingers.”

    [
     
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  14. Jerry Treiman

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    #14 Jerry Treiman, Mar 19, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
    A well-traveled fusee --

    This watch came to me through my father from his father, although I doubt anyone in my family ever wore it. This French verge fusee is unusual in having the balance wheel exposed in the upper part of the dial. It is in a rather slim (for the time) but large diameter (6 cm) single-hinged case. The silver case has makers mark "PG" in a diamond. The history of this watch (before it came to my family) is sketchily recorded by repairer's marks on the mechanism and by a watch paper in the back of the case. This watch was probably made in France around 1800, spent time in Paris and then came over the sea to Philadelphia in the late 1820s or 1830s. By the middle of the 1800s it had found its way to Sackets Harbor, NY, at the east end of Lake Ontario.
    Ford.jpg

    The movement is unsigned, but notes scratched on the mainspring barrel appear to record part of its repair history. Marks on the barrel (as closely as I can interpret the scratches) include "C. Guiteau 1828", "R.H. Putney", and "L. Quandale". Baillie lists a Guiteau in Paris from 1812-25 and he apparently worked on watches at least a few years after that. Lewis Quandale is recorded in Philadelphia from 1813-45. R H Putney is probably Reuben H Putney who was a watchmaker and silversmith in Watertown, NY from 1812-1828 and is listed in the 1820 and 1830 U S Federal Census's for Hounsfield, New York.
    french_m2.jpg

    The watch paper in the back of the case is from Sackets Harbor, New York which is located at the east end of Lake Ontario and had a major port facility. The jewelry and watch trade of Asa R. Ford is known from an 1839 advertisement and his house or shop is shown on a town map in the 1864 Jefferson County atlas (courtesy of Sackets Harbor historical society). He probably sold the watch to, or repaired it for, the contemporary owner. The signature on the watchpaper is that of H.W.Pane, the presumed owner. Henry Worden Payne (spelling variant) was listed as a grocer in the 1850 census for Hounsfield, NY. The residence of H.W. Payne is also shown on the 1864 town map for Sackets Harbor. Henry Payne died in 1864 at age 45 according to his epitaph.
    ARFord_paper.jpg

    This is a portion of the 1864 Sackets Harbor town map. Ford's shop is labeled on the right and the other highlighted building on Main St. is shown in the map legend to be the home of H.W. Payne.
    SacketsHarbor1864_sm.jpg
     
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  15. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Unless at least a few more of begin posting to this thread, this may be my last effort to amuse you in these incredibly strange and difficult days.

    I have posted photos before of this very nice circa 1879 14k Dueber-cased Elgin Grade 72 in my collection, but I have never discussed its provenance.

    IMG_3956.JPG IMG_3959.JPG IMG_3963.JPG IMG_3969.JPG IMG_3965.JPG IMG_3972.JPG IMG_3973.JPG

    It was originally owned by Chas. Bernloehr, an Indianapolis jeweler, and part of a small dynasty of jewelers.

    IMG_3966.JPG IMG_3967.JPG

    My research suggests the Chas. Bernloehr immigrated to Indiana from Germany in the last half of the 19th century and died around 1940.

    Several others of you have discussed the Indianapolis firm of Chris Bernloehr & Bros., of which Chas. almost certainly was a member.
    • John Cote posted that he had "a private label Vacheron Constantin made for Chris Bernloehr & Bros, Indianapolis, IN. Bernloehr was a jeweler which specialized in watches and was a RR inspector for the Pennsylvania RR. The firm was founded in 1884 and changed locations in downtown Indy several times. At the time this watch was sold in around 1909 they were located at 139 E Washington which was sort of the Jewelry district. Their ads in the Indianapolis news advertised sales and service of all top grade American watches plus the famous high grade Vacheron Constantin line. The watch is pretty close to a standard 16s. It is a 20 or 21j (I have not had the dial off) lever set. It is housed in its original solid gold Gruen marked hunting case. It will join my collection of Indianapolis Private Labels. I love finding watches which people didn't choose to wear much." 2013 Coming to a Close ... Any finds or stories from this year?
    • Kent replied "Nice watch! It should come as no surprise that V&C serial number 329268, reported as a 16-size, 21-jewel hunter on a mail-order dealer's list in 1997, was also marked for Chris Bernlo[ehr] & Bros. It, too, was in a 14K hunting case and had a similar dial & hands (judging from the description in the list)."
    • John responded to Kent, saying: "I found another Bernloehr today while looking through my junk. It is a low jewel Illinois Getty with a marked SS dial and marked movement."
    • In another thread, MusicGuy posted a photo of an American-cased Longines Bernloehr PL. USA Bernloehr American PL, Swiss movement, American Crescent case
    • John Cote replied that "Most of the Bernloehr watches I have seen were Swiss in American cases. Even the Vacheron...marked Vacheron I have is in an American case. Anyway, nice find!"
    John Bernloehr seems to have been another of the Bernloehr "Bros." His daughter Evelynne Mess Daily was a well-known artist. Evelynne Mess Daily - Wikipedia

    August 30, 1893 Jewelers' Circular reported on page 27 that $150 worth of chains had been stolen from the jeweler Chris Bernloeher, at 43 Russell St., Indianapolis. The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review

    Even today, there is at least one Bernloehr in the jewelry business. I just sent her an email that said "Cindi, I am guessing that you are part of the Bernloehr jewelry clan. If so, perhaps you can tell me something about it, especially about Chas. Bernloehr. I ask because his wonderful gold pocket watch is in my collection. I love learning about the original owners of my watches. I have more than once helped families to reacquire lost heirloom watches."

    If I hear back from Cindi, I will relate what she says.
     
  16. Clocks In The Grove

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    Thank you all for the watch pictures. I repair clocks from time to time. I am not a collector of clocks and do not go to the watch forum, so seeing the examples of beautiful watches was very nice Thank you again.
    ..Bob..
     
  17. novicetimekeeper

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    #17 novicetimekeeper, Mar 19, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
    Perhaps I should add a clock, one of my favourites.

    Thomas Baker worked in Blandford, just ten miles or so from where we live. Not much is known about him and only 6 clocks I have traced.

    This one is about 1700. I bought it in Scotland based on limited pics as a dial and movement. Although sold by Bonhams they didn't say much about it, they mentioned it struck on two bells and had a strike silent lever but did not expand on that.

    Not only is it rare, as a very early Dorset longcase, but it is a very unusual design for any longcase.

    It has a passing strike on the half hour on the smaller bell with a second hammer driven from the time train. The is done by the wheel that instigates the strike having two pins, a short one and a long one diametrically opposed. One starts the strike train on the hour the other lifts the small bell hammer on the half hour. In order to have a strike/no strike lever that can stop both of those the lever moves the wheel away from both of the lift arms.

    The movement is also unusual in having an internal rack for rack strike. As a rack strike it is an early example, and the first racks were internal, though a short lived practice as difficult to maintain. It has an unusual rack tail, which has to be on the front with the snail, unusual because the rack tail is not light and springy but a substantial bit of brass. To deal with the risk that the owner would allow the clock to run without the strike side wound this great chunk of brass has a sprung tab which lands on the snail and can be pushed aside by the leading edge of the step between twelve and one.

    This rare clock needed a case I felt, so from Scotland we move to Devon, where I purchased a walnut veneer on oak case in period style made in 1910. I picked up a set of brass cased London style weights from an auction in Surrey. The auctioneer persuaded a lady to let him add them to the auction, she was sending them to scrap. Terrible idea for something made about 1700. I added a pendulum and restrung the clock.

    I think it all went well together.

    baker as bought.png baker in case.jpg baker in case hood.jpg
     
  18. Jerry Treiman

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    Is it a clock or a watch?

    This is an interesting hybrid piece that I came across several years ago. It is either a clock or a watch, depending on how you look at it.
    Jagemann_f.jpg Jagemann_dt.jpg

    The 6” tall brass front is an ornate acid-etched frame with attached dial. The frame is signed J. Jagemann -- München [Munich]. Johann Jagemann was a German clockmaker/dial maker who founded his firm in 1864. The inscription on the dial reads “Kommt Zeit Komt Rath” which, I am told, basically means ‘with time comes the solution’.

    The mechanism behind the dial is a watch movement from the American Watch Co. It is a keywind, keyset, 20-size “Am’n Watch Co.” grade movement made around 1869-71. It has no second hand and a dummy winding square has been added to the pillar plate to show through the key hole in the dial. The movement is wound and set from the back. I would have said this is a total “Frankenstein” but there is one indication that this may be the original application of this movement. On the dial side, one of the original dial foot holes has been filled in and gilded along with the rest of the plate. This was done to accommodate one of the two symetrically placed screws for the Jagemann dial. I can’t imagine that this was done by a hobbyist just trying to utilize an old movement. The movement is mounted in a custom-made brass cylinder.
    20s_m.jpg 20s_ud.jpg
     
  19. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Here's another of my C.H. Hulburds that have a story. It is a very pretty 14k Wadsworth-cased watch from around 1924. Inside, its inscribed "Teddy" Donahue from the Ice Industry of California, Feb. 15, 1934. The individual who sold me the watch told me that

    the Donahue family settled in El Dorado County, Cal. at the start of the gold rush in 1849. The family owned the Shingle Gold Mine in Shingle Springs, Cal. which operated 1860-1918. Grampa William retired in 1870 in Placerville. Grampa William’s son, Teddy, controlled most of the ice houses in El Dorado County until the 1930s. His son, Guy Donahue, was the last of the Donahues. He lost all of the family’s money. I acquired the watch from Guy. Guy never had the watch out of the safe, and had no money to repair any item. So I totally believe the watch has never been repaired. I will send you a picture of William Donahue, the sheriff, and other county people in 1870s.
    Here is the photo he sent me.

    Photo.jpg

    For more about Shingle Springs, see Shingle Springs - A Gold Rush.

    Here is the watch.

    IMG_2543.JPG IMG_2542.JPG IMG_2539.JPG IMG_2537.JPG IMG_2535.JPG IMG_2536.JPG
     
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  20. Steven Thornberry

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    This small timepiece is not as magnificent and eye-catching as many of the items show-cased in this thread, but I found it interesting because it led me down several different roads in trying to tell its story. The short version is that it is a cottage clock designed and patented by C.T. Foote, carrying a Daniel Pratt, Jr. label.

    Case 2.JPG Label.JPG Movement Front.JPG Movement Back.JPG

    The larger version is contained in the following thread: Pratt Cottage Clock. Note the links in the thread; they make up the different roads.
     
  21. novicetimekeeper

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    I'll add one more as I went local last time.

    Joseph Bowles was a maker in Wimborne, a town where I grew up, went to school, sang in the choir, performed in the theatre, where my dad ran a business, where I got married, and a mile or so from where I sit typing this.

    He worked with William Monk installing a replacement movement in the mediaeval astronomical clock that is in Wimborne Minster. An older clock than the one in Prague. He had two sons I think, John and Samuel who both went into the trade, though it may be that John was the only son and Samuel and John junior were sons of his.

    His Son, Samuel, continued the business well into the 19th Century but Joseph is said to have worked to 1793. Samuel 1803-30 maintained the clock his father installed and other local turret clocks as well as having his name on dial clocks and white dial longcase.

    I have two clocks by Joseph, though I have seen three or four. One of mine is just a dial and movement 30 hour, but the other is this rather handsome mahogany cased moon roller with the earlier style painted disc showing the stars on a blue ground,

    This is the best dial I have ever seen on a Joseph Bowles clock, and one of the most attractive clocks I have seen of the period. It is still as I bought it, though it needs the hands replaced with a proper set.

    bowles 1.jpg bowles4.jpg
     
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  22. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Almost everything in our collections has a story, often unknown, rarely discoverable. Our objects only speak of their makers and their use, care, or neglect. Unless inscribed, they usually tell us nothing of their past owners.

    Nearly every watch in my collection -- I collect high-grade solid gold and platinum pocket watches -- originally was a self-indulgent splurge, an award, or a generous gift, usually by one spouse to another or a parent to a child. If my watches could preserve their past owners' emotions, most would be full of pride, gratitude, and ambition; what stories they would tell, always sadly including being cast off by the families that originally owned them.

    In this thread, I have tried to tell the history of the few watches in my collection whose prior ownership is knowable. Many of my watches provide no clues or provide clues to a mystery that I cannot solve, such as monograms. But even when an inscription names the original owner, that owner often has left no more than scant traces. Nothing lasts.

    Here are three Hamiltons that illustrate the lightness of our footprints. All three were awards. None seems to have been used very much.

    H.J. Gaenslen's 14k Hamilton Grade 904

    IMG_1029_edited.JPG IMG_1041_edited.JPG IMG_1040_edited.JPG IMG_1038_edited.JPG IMG_1032_edited.JPG

    All I have been able to discover is that H. (Herbert) J. Gaenslen ran Gaenslen Brothers Leather Company, which sold shoe leather, e.g., soles, and played golf. The company had been founded by his father Charles and one of Charles' brothers. Herbert's sons Michael and Dan took over the business from Herbert. The business was located in the Schlitz Park area of Milwaukee. It was in business for 92 years, but is gone now.

    Leon Glasgow's 14k Hamilton Grade 904

    IMG_1835.JPG DSC02786.JPG DSC02785.JPG IMG_1831.JPG

    The inscription speaks for itself. In the center is the symbol of the Royal Arch Masons, which is a branch of the York Rite. In 1931, Leon Glasgow was given this lovely watch for an unknown reason by the H.L. Palmer Lodge No. 87 of the Royal Arch Masons. The cryptic letters by E.H.P. (by 1931) mean nothing to me. The H.L. Palmer Lodge No. 87 probably was Wisconsin, but it has vanished without a trace I can find. H.L. Palmer was a prominent Wisconsin legislator and businessman, president of what became Northwestern Mutual, and a very serious freemason. Henry L. Palmer - Wikipedia

    F.A. Meyers 18k Hamilton Grade 922MP


    IMG_0339_edited.JPG IMG_0341_edited.JPG IMG_2605.JPG IMG_2608_edited.JPG

    F.A. Meyers ran Penikees Mills, a fabric mill in Valley Falls, Rhode Island. That was all I could find. Like Leon Glasgow's Grad 904, this watch has its original gold chain and pen knife, though not shown in the photos.
     
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  23. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    What wonderful watches and stories, Ethan. Thank you for sharing them with us.
     
  24. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    One of my most perplexing inscriptions is a simple name and address inscribed on the back of a ladies’ wristwatch -

    THERESA A. CRIMMEN
    500 PARKER AVE.
    BUFFALO, N.Y.

    Theresa Crimmen (1874-1941) was unmarried. In the 1920 census she lived in Suffolk, MA but by 1927 she apparently had moved to Buffalo, NY where she lived until her death. The address on the watch is that of St.Rose of Lima, a Catholic church built in 1926. The first pastor was Theresa’s brother, the Reverend George Crimmen. Evidently Theresa assisted at the church and was able to live out her life at the rectory. Her reported annual income in the 1940 census was $600.

    So where does the mystery arise? Here is the watch -- one of Waltham’s finest, smallest and most expensive movements ($170 in 1923) in a one-of-a-kind hand made platinum case with diamonds and black onyx. This singular watch was featured in several Waltham advertisements in 1921, including this one from National Geographic Magazine.
    5412b.jpg 5412.jpg 5412m2.jpg

    $2,000 in 1921 dollars! How does this watch end up on the wrist of the marginally employed spinster sister of a priest, living at the church property?

    The watch was made to the highest standards around 1920 or 1921. It was a showpiece for Waltham through 1923. It made its way to a Buffalo jeweler who probably had the piece in inventory for several years - unsold due to the very high price. It wasn’t until 1926 or thereafter that Theresa Crimmen received this watch, but under what circumstances we may never know.
     
  25. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    This has been posted before, photo of my great, great, great, great grandfather and his M I Tobias fusee from 1847 in an 18K case from Benedict Bros of NYC engraved on his promotion to Captain of his company of the 7th Regiment NY Nat'l Guard along with his dress and causal epaulets and the epaulet case

    family heirlooms august 2007 010.jpg family heirlooms august 2007 009.jpg family heirlooms august 2007 011.jpg family heirlooms august 2007 005.jpg family heirlooms august 2007 015.jpg family heirlooms august 2007 034.jpg family heirlooms august 2007 006.jpg
     
  26. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Obviously, she had a close friend,Male or Female, who knows. Very practical also, with her complete ID in case of theft or loss.:D
     
  27. Dave Coatsworth

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    I think I've posted this in the distant past, but here's something rather unique in my collection. It's a bank alarm system form about 1920. At the heart is an 18-size Illinois watch movement with the mainspring barrel moved outside to accommodate a 120-hour mainspring. The other timepiece it uses is a Seth Thomas #10 to time the length of time that the alarm sounds. Several years ago, I completely disassembled it and traced the wiring so I could put it back into working condition. I also researched the many patents that went into its design. You can see that it controls the vault opening, doors, windows, vestibule and has a teller 'panic' button. There are two meters to monitor the wet and dry cell batteries that power the electric part of the system. Here are several photos, including some of the wire tracing.

    BottomNamePlate.jpg ControlPanelCU.jpg Mainspring.jpg MovementBack.jpg TimerMovement.jpg VaultTimer.jpg circuit.jpg WiringTags.jpg
     
  28. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Very cool, Dave! That spring makes it look like a "Waterbury long-wind want-to-be"!
     
  29. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Some of you may have noticed that my postings to this thread are mainly in alphabetical order. This is because I am drawing content from my alphabetized collection catalog. That's why I am now writing about another C.H. Hulburd, one that came boxed in a mock book.

    IMG_3893.JPG IMG_4033.JPG IMG_4035.JPG IMG_4036.JPG IMG_4062.JPG

    This watch was the subject of another thread, C.H. Hulburd in Mock "Book" Case, but that thread did not cover its provenance.

    The watch is inscribed C.O. Page from the Directors of Park School, May 1939. I believe it highly likely that the Park School in question is a 108-year old private Baltimore school of the same name. Park at a Glance · The Park School of Baltimore.

    I contacted the Park School archivist to find out who C.O. Page was. She couldn't find any one by that name in the Park School records, but she said that the Pages were a prominent Baltimore family. The archivist did find a Charles Greenleaf Page in the school records.

    Charles Greenleaf Page was a prominent Baltimore attorney in the prime of his career in the 1930s. SeeSale and Distribution of Dairy Products in the District of Columbia.

    The Park School archivist wondered whether the inscription really said C.G. Page. I don't think the O is a G, as much as I would like it to be. If you think it is a G, please let me know.

     
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  30. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #30 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Apr 1, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
    Some of the unicorns, zebras and oddities I love to find. No particular rhyme nor reason how they were selected for posting here.

    Clocks with cases carved by the important American artist, John Haley Bellamy:

    bellamy papal 4.JPG bellamy 18.JPG

    Some one-off "folk art clocks":

    folk marquetry 2.jpg folk marquetry.jpg folk art clock 1.jpg folk art clock 2.jpg father time clock 1a.JPG folk art 3.jpg

    My Hadlock clocks:

    hadlock 1.JPG hadlock shelf 2.JPG

    Just unusual:

    odd ball.jpg

    That's enough for now.

    RM
     
  31. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Wonderful clocks, RM. I especially like the pyrography Waterbury case. What a lot of work the artisans put into the clocks you shared.
     
  32. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks!

    RM
     
  33. Rick Hufnagel

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    I GOT HIM! Ethan Lipsig

    Clifton O. Page. Head of the Park School for boys, Indianapolis. 1928-1939

    History - Park Tudor School

    Whew! Great hunt. Awesome watch, and thanks for inadvertently entertaining me for a little over an hour. I now know all about quite a few "Park Schools" across the country
     
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  34. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Rick, thanks so much! It is bad enough for me to dig these provenance holes. It is almost unexcusable for me to drag others down into the pits.
     
  35. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    This is a 30-hour weight-driven clock by Chauncey Jerome. The case is also found with 8-day weight movements and 8-day fusee movements. I believe it is from ca. 1846 to 1850.

    Jerome Weight 003.jpg Jerome Weight 002.jpg Jerome Weight 001.jpg
    The door glass is likely a replacement or repaint, but I like it. It shows what is now Nassau Hall at Princeton University. My clock itself is not so significant, however, as is one of its brothers. The same model once resided in the Lincoln-Herndon law office in Springfield, IL. The July-August issue of the NAWCC Bulletin contains an informative article by Mike Bailey on the Lincoln-Herndon clock (pp. 309-313). https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2010/articles/2017/428/428_309_313.pdf. The clock was also the subject of a Youtube video from 2011.

     
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  36. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Great sleuthing Rick Hufnagel! You definitely nailed it. As the great radio announcer Paul Harvey was known to have advocated, now you know "The Rest of the Story"!
     
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  37. Rick Hufnagel

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    Your welcome. I happen to have a bit extra time on my hands.....

    The story is just as important as the watch, in my opinion. One of the reasons I enjoy private labels and monograms is they often have a story. Love this stuff. Glad to help
     
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  38. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Thanks to you, Rick, I was able to piece together a brief bio of C.O. Page.


    C.O. Page was Clifton Orville Page, headmaster of the Park School for Boys in Indianapolis from 1928-1939. Park School was founded in 1914. It later merged with Tudor Hall School to form the Park Tudor School. Page was born in Maine in 1891. He went to Bowdoin College in Maine, where he was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1913. By 1916, he was on the faculty of Springfield Technical High School, where he taught music. He is the faculty member in the middle of the top row of this 1916 photo.

    1916 Springfield Tech High Orch.jpg
    Springfield Technical High School Orchestra 1916

    Page married Dorcus Irene Allen. Page was headmaster of the Detroit University School of Detroit before or after he was headmaster of the Park School. In 1952, an Arthur Sullivan S. Sullivan tune to which Page had written the lyrics, was published; it was a choral piece for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Page died in Pennsylvania in 1980 at the age 88.
     
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  39. Rick Hufnagel

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  40. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    I am not a railroad watch collector. I don't have any railroad watches in my collection. Even my 14k Hamilton 950 is a non-railroad pendent-set model.

    However, I do have one watch that is historic and that also has a railroad connection -- a Howard Waltham Bridge model. It's not a Keystone Howard. It is listed in pre-Keystone Howard records as the very first Waltham delivered to Howard, in December 1902. This watch is H803,546. Here are the Howard records.

    Howard Record.jpg
    And here is the watch, which is a 21j Waltham Bridge Model in a 14k Keystone hunter case.

    IMG_3507.JPG IMG_3508.JPG IMG_3511.JPG IMG_3512.JPG IMG_3517.JPG IMG_3518.JPG IMG_3519.JPG IMG_3522.JPG

    This is a scarce watch. Only about 25 21j Waltham-Howard Bridge Model hunters were made.

    But the watch is also interesting as a railroad artifact, for those of you, who unlike me, are railroad enthusiasts. The watch is inscribed on the cuvette Presented to D.M. Perine by the employees of the Pittsburg Div. Shops as a token of their regards, August 1st 1903 and with the front engraved with the fancy initials D.M.P. and the rear engraved with fancy numerals of the date 1903. This watch was presented to David M. Perine

    upload_2020-4-2_23-19-41.png

    According to a Pennsylvania Railroad Information bulletin from 1917:

    David M. Perine was born in Baltimore, Md., February 13, 1869. He was educated in the schools of that city, including the full course in mechanical drawing and design at the Maryland Institute.​

    Mr. Perine entered the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as Apprentice at the Mt. Vernon Shops of the Northern Central Railway on May 14, 1888, completing his apprenticeship at the Altoona Shops. On April 1, 1894, he was appointed Assistant Road Foreman of Engines on the Pittsburgh Division, and on August 1, 1895, was promoted to Assistant Master Mechanic of the Altoona Machine Shop. On March 6, 1899, he was appointed Assistant Engineer of Motive Power of the Northern Central Railway and Philadelphia and Erie Railroad, and on March 1, 1900, was transferred to Altoona as Assistant Engineer of Motive Power of the Pennsylvania Railroad Division.​

    Mr. Perine was promoted to Master Mechanic of the Pittsburgh Division on October 1, 1901, and on August 1, 1903, he was transferred to West Philadelphia as Master Mechanic of the West Philadelphia Shops. On April 1, 1906, he was advanced to Superintendent of Motive Power of the Northern Central Railway and Philadelphia and Erie Railroad, and on April 1, 1907, was transferred to Pittsburgh as Superintendent of Motive Power of the Western Pennsylvania Division. On January 1, 1912, he was transferred to New York as Superintendent of Motive Power of the New Jersey Division and the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad.​

    Effective, May 9, 1917, Mr. Perine was assigned to special duties on the personal staff of the General Superintendent of the New Jersey Division.​

    Pittsburgh is spelled with an h, but for around the first 20 years of the 20th century, the federal government insisted that it be spelled without an h to conform to the common burg suffix. Although some refused to drop the h, others followed the federal demand. Hence, the inscription on this watch is not wrong in referring to Pittsburgh without the h.
     
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  41. Steven Thornberry

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    Laporte Hubbell was a prolific maker of clock movements, both pendulum and, in particular, marine lever. He was an inventor, a skilled mechanic, and a successful businessman. His clockmaking career started in 1836 when he was 12 years old and continued until his death in 1889.

    His movements appear in clocks bearing labels of S. B. Jerome, Wm. Gilbert, Hendrick, Barnes & Co., Chauncey Jerome, J. C. Brown, H. J Davies, F. Kroeber, E. Ingraham, E. N. Welch, and others. For more information, see Lee Smith’s article on Marine Clocks and Timepieces in the April 2009 NAWCC Bulletin, pp. 183-4, from which I took much of the brief summary above. Some Hubbell movements are shown in Figures 13-16.

    https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2000/articles/2009/379/379_179a.pdf

    For more detailed information on Hubbell see Roberts’ and Taylor’s book, Forestville Clockmakers, pp. 115-129, and, more recently, Richard W. Hubble’s article, “LaPorte Hubbell, A Nineteenth Century American Clockmaker,” in the November/December Bulletin, pp. 572-93. The article shows a great number of Hubbell’s movements.

    https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2010/articles/2013/406/406_572_593.pdf

    The clock I show below is one that I have posted before on the Message Board. I picked it up at the 2010 National Convention in York, PA. It is a birds-eye maple advertising clock for Reed's Gilt Edge Tonic and has a Hubbell pendulum movement, with his "signature" umbrella-shaped cutouts. Note, as well, the initials on the clock, either "SJ" or "JS." (For all I know, the "J" might be an "I.") Various initials are found on these particular clocks.

    Reed Case 1.jpg Reed Dial.JPG Reed Monogram.JPG Reed Movement 1`.JPG Reed Movement 2.JPG

    Unfortunately, mine has no label, but some time ago, I found a similar one on antiqueclockspriceguide.com that still had the label inside the door. I will take the liberty to quote from their writeup: “The label inside the door reads, ‘This Regulator Clock is Presented by The Geo. W. M. Reed Bitter Co. of New Haven, Conn. thru their Wholesale Agents, as a gift to our patrons, and is intended to attract attention to the merits of, "REED’S GILT EDGE TONIC’.” The label also says the clock was made in their own factory. This potion was apparently good for treating malaria and indigestion.

    There are also mini grandfather clocks advertising the same tonic. All had movements by LaPorte Hubbell. All seem to have had a monogram, possibly of the wholesale agent mentioned above. We have seen another wall clock in this previous thread, post #107.

    A google search of this particular snake oil turned up some very interesting information and shows it actively sold in the 1870’s, even 1880’s and perhaps beyond. See the following for example:

    Reeds Gilt Edge Tonic Clocks | Peachridge Glass
    Bottle Pickers

    The bottles containing the tonic are themselves quite collectible. Here is one I own.

    Reed's Bottle1.JPG Reed's Bottle2.JPG
     
  42. Rick Hufnagel

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  43. Rick Hufnagel

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    Steven, I love that bottle you've found to go with the clock. Finding something to go with one of my watches is a thrill, and recently putting a matching Victorian trade card with them has been really exciting.

    Samuel Tappin, Tappins Diamond Palace, Troy NY
    efe8a18ee5b90f4a964b90d7a1ab6d35.jpg d1e9829972b46ddaab77e21d4a5f6407.jpg
    IMG_20200403_123805322.jpg


    I also have a beautiful 18s nickel Elgin for Samuel Tappin as well, but it's mechanically wrecked and sitting in a container awaiting me to dump too much money into parts for it.


    Next is Bacon and Co, Boston.
    213da47f660ad3dc9c5e24cc3b0e8b10.jpg 3b5be41c1415b457604bed70a6fb7dc9.jpg PicsArt_04-03-12.41.46.jpg
    The watch is a little older than the card, thus the address change.

    Lastly, E.G. Lathrop, the watchmaker half of Becker and Lathrop. These movements are neat, I've seen a few now. Special orders with Gilt barrel bridges. This one is actually a Lafayette grade.
    1e9cfeab74c86fc8bfbe252cf1613ca9.jpg 4664d29af05a534d346bd24ac00987ad.jpg PicsArt_04-03-12.43.21.jpg


    I've also been eyeballing a teaspoon from Mermod Jaccard and another item from C.P. Barnes... But recent circumstances require I conserve $$$$
     
  44. Jim Haney

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  45. Rick Hufnagel

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    There's a good possibility it contained some things a wee bit stronger than alcohol!! Haha
     
  46. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Here is another alcohol-related item, a beautiful 14k Dubois hunter case, #259,036, inscribed Presented to J. Brustle by Standard Brew. Co., July 17,1913. I bought this case to save it from the scrappers. I don't know what it originally held, but it might have been an Illinois because the screw marks matched the screws of the Illinois movement I have put in the case.

    Standard Brewing Co. was a New Orleans brewer in operation from 1900-1928. It was located at 518/532 South Johnson, where the University Medical Center is now located. It made beer before Prohibition and near-beer thereafter.

    wirthbru-beer-label-standard-brewing_1_231e0d9e1d93141ca3b0c2386506a680.jpg tempero-beer-label-prohibition_1_5d81d5ddd78efc053fbe6a49ffcb86b9.jpg

    John Brustle, sometimes spelled Bruestle, was its brewmaster and a director. The only other information I could find was a report in the January 7, 1911 issue of Horticulture that said he hosted a luncheon at the brewery in 1910 for the New Orleans chapter of the Horticultural Society. The chapter president was reported to have said that “florists are good judges of beer, and the kind they were drinking met with their approval.”

    I bought an uncommon 19 jewel adjusted Getty movement, #1,861,455, for the case. Only 60 19 jewel Grade 175 hunters were made. (40 Illinois-signed Grade 175 19 jewel open faced watches were made; about 1000 Burlington-signed 19 jewel open faced watches were made, but with three finger bridges.)

    IMG_3270.JPG IMG_3269.JPG IMG_4568.JPG IMG_3268.JPG IMG_3267.JPG IMG_3266.JPG IMG_3265.JPG IMG_4569.JPG IMG_4570.JPG
     
  47. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Another watch in my collection with an interesting railroad story is a circa 1909 Illinois Grade 299. I will confess to having moved this movement from a gold-filled case into a 14k Solidarity case that housed an Illinois Grade 406, serial number, 415,839, when I bought it. I collect uncommon Illinois 12-size watches. Grade 406 is a common model.

    The case is inscribed to Geo. M. Leilich from Harold G. Burrill on Graduation from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, June 1933. Leilich,1917-1993, according to his Baltimore Sun obituary was “’a railroader's railroader.’ A Baltimore native, Mr. Leilich grew up in Northwest Baltimore near Liberty Heights Avenue. He was a 1933 graduate of the Polytechnic Institute, and in 1936 he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. He was awarded a fellowship and used it to study at Yale University, where he earned a certificate in transportation economics in 1938.” The obituary reports that Leilich began his railroading career in 1938 as an engine wiper with the Lehigh Valley Railroad. He joined the Western Maryland in 1953 as general superintendent, ultimately becoming a VP and director. At 36, he was one of the youngest ever in railroading to hold that position, according to a published report at the time. He implemented Western Maryland’s merge into the Chessie System (CSX). He retired in 1979. The obituary reports that “In spite of having presided over the end of the steam era on the Western Maryland, [Leilich] he enjoyed climbing into the cab of an active steamer and taking the throttle.” Leilich is one of the three individuals shown below.

    Keikich.jpg

    The movement I installed in Leilich's case is a Phelps & Perry PL. Its Grade 299 movement has a 23j/5 adj movement, # 2,208,127. Only 230 of the 23-jewel Grade 299 were made.

    IMG_4340.JPG IMG_4341.JPG IMG_4342.JPG IMG_4343.JPG IMG_8287_edited.JPG
     
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  48. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Certainly some great stuff posted here, even if a lot of is watches :D

    A word about the Reed's Tonic clocks posted earlier. Actually, a picture of a label that sometimes survives on the back of the door of the wall clocks is show in the linked to thread, posting 107. Here is a pic of the label:

    reed's tonic 1.jpg

    That particular example has an ebonized case. The bird's eye case is nicer, I think.

    A miniature grandfather version is also mentioned. See posting 141 on the same thread. Unfortunately, some of the pix originally posted went the way of the dodo bird with the grand upgrading of the MB some time ago. Here's a pic of the whole clock:

    reed's 2.JPG

    The advertising panels are original. Beware as reproduction advertising is often found. While it is true that most frequently Hubbell movements are used in both versions, NOT always. This clock has what appears to be its original New Haven movement:

    reed's tonic 4.jpg reed's tonic 5.jpg

    Note the use of a coiled spring for the suspension! Jerome did that for other movements. See the posting on the other thread for pix of the labels, etc.

    Thought I would post some S.B. Terry stuff. Here are some examples of his shelf clocks. Rather than using veneer or grain painting on the cases, textured printed paper was used. Often did not survive:

    s.b. terry paper covered 1.JPG

    The case sides are decorated with faux grained paper:

    s.b. terry paper covered 2.JPG

    I believe he's the only one who did that. The larger one has one of his atypical 30 hour time and strike movements. The little cottage clocks have his "ladder" movement. Love the Fenn glasses. These clocks combine 2 things I like. Unusual clocks with unusual movements in aesthetically pleasing clocks. And they don't take up too much space. Like a great pocket watch? All of these clocks are discussed in more detail on the MB.

    I'll close this out with some more SBT stuff not often seen. Late in his career, he made iron cased wall clocks:

    s.b. terry iron 2.JPG s.b. terry iron 1.JPG

    Time and strike versions of these are, in my anecdotal experience, scarce. Again, these have been previously posted on the MB. See those postings for more details like how the label printed in gilt ink on black shiny paper is mounted to a baffle board and serves as a beat scale. Oh that SBT.

    RM
     
  49. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    #49 Steven Thornberry, Apr 4, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
    The movement does not have a typical New Haven escape wheel bridge. Are you sure it is New Haven? OTOH, I appreciate the correction on the ubiquity of Hubbell movements in these beasties.

    OK, I tentatively withdraw my objection about the EW bridge. Looking through Lee Smith's article on EW characteristics (Dec. 1999 Bulletin), I find one on page 772 that he ascribes to S. Peck & Co., with an annotation that the movement is by New Haven. I still wonder, though.
     
  50. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    I discussed my Illinois Grade 299 23-jewel open face pocket watch in post #47. I also have an interesting 21-jewel Grade 299 hunter, serial number . Neither are common movements. Illinois only made 230 23-jewel open face Grade 299s and only made 900 21-jewel hunters in that grade. My circa 1905 hunter is one of a small number with striped damascening, #1,781,757.

    Before explaining why this watch is interesting, I must first confess that I recased the movement, which I bought uncased, in a beautiful 14k gold multi-color boxed hinged Elgin Giant W.C.Co. case #466,259, engraved “B. Mijatovich,” who I haven't been able to identify. When I bought that case, it housed a medium-grade circa 1925 Grade 274 21-jewel Illinois Central movement with sun ray damascening and 3 adjustments, # 4,645,601.

    IMG_5491_edited.JPG IMG_5492.JPG Z Ill 299 hunter.jpg IMG_5496_edited.JPG DSC02929.JPG DSC02930.JPG DSC02938.JPG DSC02940.JPG upload_2020-4-4_5-14-23.png

    I bought my Grade 299 hunter movement because I collect scarce high-grade 12 and 13-size Illinois PWs and because it was a private label (dial only) of a prominent jeweler, J. Herbert Hall, in Pasadena, California, where I have lived for 41 years. I don't recall ever having seen another Pasadena jeweler private label PW.

    So, what makes this watch more interesting is J.. Herbert Hall's story. It was founded in Pasadena in 1899. It grew into a small chain. At least one branch still exists, in Phoenix. The flagship Pasadena store closed in 1998. It was several doors east of Vroman's Bookstore on Colorado Boulevard. Here is a 1910 photo of it at its original location.

    Hall.jpg

    According to Pasadena PIO: Mystery History -- Solved!:

    In the 1910 photo above (uncropped this time), a Pasadena police officer stands guard outside the J. Herbert Hall Company as a small crowd gathers. Here's an excerpt from The Pasadena Star, Sept. 24, 1910:

    Hundreds of people gazed with awe at a big pebble in the window of the J. Herbert Hall company all day today, the awe being due to the fact that the insignificant stone is a diamond 61¾ carats in weight, worth an unknown number of thousands of dollars. All day a policeman in uniform stood beside the window to see that no one smashed the glass and made off with the costly pebble.

    The big, smooth, uncut diamond rested on a mirrored plaque surrounded by handsome unmounted but finished diamonds which in themselves would have made a considerable display.

    Because of the remarkable interest in the display the big uncut diamond will remain on show all day Monday.​
    And this is from an article published the day before:

    Mr. Hall anticipates that it will finally produce one perfect forty-two carat stone and, perhaps, some smaller ones.

    For twenty years it has been uncut in the possession of one family. It was found in a river bed in South Africa, pledged for a large loan and finally taken when the loan was unpaid. It is now to be put in finished form, one of the largest diamonds in the west.

    The value of the display is so great that a special policeman will be stationed at the window to thwart any effort at smashing the glass by some expert sneak thief who might chance to hear of the valuable stone.​
    On Nov. 13, 1899, Canada-born watchmaker and optometrist J. Herbert Hall founded a small optical and jewelry store at 43 E. Colorado St. . . .J. Herbert Hall sold his first diamond ring for $22 and the business took off like a rocket, becoming the most popular spot in town for purchasing engagement rings, fine china ("Back then we were the place to go to register china patterns," a former employee said years later), “strings of pearls and, of course, tried-and-true gold watches.” When wristwatches came into popularity in 1914, Mr. Hall stocked them to the rafters and made a killing.

    A well-known businessman in Pasadena, [Hall] was a charter member of the Pasadena Rotary Club, served as president of the Pasadena Merchants Association, commander of the Pasadena Commandery of the Knights Templar (known popularly as the Masonic Temple) and president of the California Gold and Silversmiths Association. He also served on most of the committees of the Tournament of Roses over the years.

    His philanthropy, which he planned with his wife Sarah, was renowned and much appreciated. Among his many gifts were a swimming pool for the YWCA summer camp in the mountains and monetary donations to local schools for curriculum materials.

    Throughout the years until his death in 1951 at age 79, [Hall] remained one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Pasadena. After his death, his brother Walter took over the company and oversaw a huge boom and expansion.

    In 1973 J. Herbert Hall Jewelers was sold to Gordon Jewelers Corp. and was expanded to a 19-store chain in three states. I don't know what happened, but today there are only of couple of J. Herbert Hall Jewelers in Arizona and Texas.

    Here's a really bad poem that was included in a Sept. 13, 1910, J. Herbert Hall Jewelers ad celebrating September as Sapphire Month:

    September the Sapphire
    Those who are born when autumn leaves
    Are rustling in September's breeze.
    A sapphire on their hand should bind.
    It will bring Wisdom to the mind.

    We have them in pins, pendants, rings and bracelets as high as $250.00 and as low as $7.50.​
     
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